August 2, 2013

Dog Days Recipe: Chilled Soup

"CREAM" OF CELERY SOUP
#1 "Cream" is in quotes because there isn't any dairy in this recipe.
#2 This soup is good hot or cold or room temperature. I think it's most flavorful cold. And when it is 95 degrees, who wants hot soup?
TOOLS REQUIRED
food processor or blender or immersion blender

INGREDIENTS
2 c onion, chopped
4 c celery, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground fennel
2 tsp salt-free Spike seasoning (or your preferred salt-free seasoning)
2 fist sized Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (approx 4 c)
2 c water or vegetable broth
2 corn cobs*, kernels removed, fresh or frozen (did you save them from last week's recipe?)

If your celery has fronds on top that resemble the look of dill, chop them up to sprinkle on top of the soup as a yummy garnish.
METHOD
In a soup pot, heat oil on medium-high. When hot, add onions and stir well to coat in oil.  Sprinkle with the salt and stir to distribute. Cook for 3 minutes. 

Turn heat down to medium-low. Add celery and stir well to incorporate and coat in oil and juices. Cover and sweat vegetables, sitting occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. 

Add fennel, Spike, and potatoes. Stir well and cook 2 minutes. Add the water (or stock) & the corn cobs. Cover & increase heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer until potatoes are soft, 10 - 15 minutes.

Allow the soup to cool. Remove the corn cobs. Puree the soup with your preferred tool. Chill and serve. 

If the soup is too thick at this point for your liking, stir in water until it reaches the desired consistency. If you plan to warm up the chilled soup, wait until it is warm before adding water. Heating it up usually makes it less thick.

*Simmering corn cobs with your soup, or when preparing vegetable stock if you make your own, brings an extra depth of flavor to the final product. I wouldn't prepare corn specially for this purpose, but I am in the habit of freezing all my vegetable scraps. When they reach critical mass and I turn them into vegetable stock. Inevitably, my freezer is stocked with corn cobs to spare. If you don't have corn cobs laying around just waiting to be used in soup, omit them from this recipe. It'll still be tasty.

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